Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

deviant

[dee-vee-uh nt]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. deviating or departing from the norm; characterized by deviation: deviant social behavior.
Show More
noun
  1. a person or thing that deviates or departs markedly from the accepted norm.
Show More

Origin of deviant

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin dēviant- (stem of dēviāns, present participle of dēviāre to deviate), equivalent to Latin dē- de- + vi(a) road, way + -ant- -ant
Related formsnon·de·vi·ant, adjective, noun
Can be confuseddeviant deviate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for deviant

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Under the circumstances, deviant behavior could not be tolerated.

  • People whose greatest crime might have been lack of enthusiasm feared that they might be suspected of deviant political beliefs.

    Area Handbook for Romania

    Eugene K. Keefe, Donald W. Bernier, Lyle E. Brenneman, William Giloane, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole

  • It became official record, and my experience was the deviant.

    What Need of Man?

    Harold Calin

  • There's nothing shameful, deviant or weird about either of them.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

  • It smelled the outpouring of certain glands, tasted a deviant brain wave.

    Watchbird

    Robert Sheckley


British Dictionary definitions for deviant

deviant

adjective
  1. deviating, as from what is considered acceptable behaviour
Show More
noun
  1. a person whose behaviour, esp sexual behaviour, deviates from what is considered to be acceptable
Show More
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for deviant

adj.

c.1400, from Late Latin deviantem (nominative devians), present participle of deviare "turn aside," from Latin phrase de via, from de "off" (see de-) + via "way" (see via). The noun meaning "one that deviates" is from late 15c.; in the sexual sense, from 1952; also deviate (n.), recorded since 1912.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

deviant in Medicine

deviant

(dēvē-ənt)
adj.
  1. Differing from a norm or from the accepted standards of a society.
Show More
n.
  1. One that differs from a norm, especially a person whose behavior and attitudes differ from accepted social standards.
Show More
Related formsdevi•ance null n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.